Johan Brenner

Stockholm, General Partner

Johan is one of our General Partners based in Stockholm. He joined Creandum in 2010 and has invested in many different areas like SaaS and Consumer marketplaces but is especially passionate about Fintech.

I grew up with three siblings in a suburb of Stockholm. As the oldest child, I was the guinea pig in our family, needing to perform and behave well. My father used to work for big companies and, at some point, started his own company. I always admired him for that. Since I can remember, I wanted to be an entrepreneur as well. Creating something on my own, controlling your own destiny, and risking something to achieve something. 

Johan together with Janick, Ginger, and Iris

When I graduated, I thought I should learn how to run a company first before becoming an entrepreneur. It made sense to me and I started to work for the Management at ABB which was just about to transform the electro-technical industry – and later for the CEO of Kinnevik who transformed its forestry business into the media, telecom, and tech investment firm it is today.

Johan and Daniel

Those years taught me to work hard, have high standards, communicate effectively in a team, be resilient, show grit, have a clear vision in mind, and never think something is impossible.

After almost ten years of learning from two of the greatest leaders at that time, I started my first company in 1997, which was one of the first online brokers in Europe. I sold the company some years later and started (and invested) in a couple of other companies including Jobline, Bookatable, and Tradera. 

Johan, Jesper, Carl, and Fred

One day I got a call from Benchmark Capital who were looking for another General Partner in Europe and wondered if I was interested in joining the VC side. I had never really thought about getting into VC as I loved building things (and in 2003 European VC was not so hot) – but I told my wife that if I ever were to go into VC, only when I can join the best in the world. And this was Benchmark at the time...

Some years later, I moved back to Sweden and joined Creandum in 2010. At that time Creandum only invested in the Nordics – and it's been fun to be part of Creandum's transformation into a top pan-European VC. 

Dreamy sunsets with the team

Even though there was nothing better for me than being an entrepreneur and focusing on one thing building towards a vision, I realized that I can leverage my impact by working together with the best entrepreneurs and helping them bring their vision into reality. To me, being an investor means being a straight, transparent, and fair partner, not afraid of stating my opinion but always going with the decision the entrepreneur makes in the end. I love challenges and love solving them as part of a team – be it within Creandum or together with the founders we back. I am grateful to have been working with the founders of iZettle, Klarna, Vivino, Pleo, and Trade Republic to name a few.

Besides that my biggest joys in life are my family and friends – and playing tennis. I started playing competitively when I was a kid and I am still always open for a challenge.

Johan opening Creandum's 20 Year Anniversary Party in Stockholm

Johan, Miles (Benchmark), and Keith (Founders Fund) at Creandum's 20 Year Anniversary

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Trade Republic
Johan Brenner 15 July 2019
Backing Trade Republic 
The importance of Aircraft Carriers
Creandum Team 2 December 2015
The importance of Aircraft Carriers
Johan Brenner 3 February 2021